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June 20, 2024
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6
 min read

A Complete Guide to DLP Implementation and Requirements

Learn the importance of DLP and the data loss prevention requirements to choose the right vendor. Implement DLP effectively and protect your sensitive data.

A Complete Guide to DLP Implementation and Requirements
Calendar Icon White
June 20, 2024
Clock Icon
6
 min read

A Complete Guide to DLP Implementation and Requirements

Learn the importance of DLP and the data loss prevention requirements to choose the right vendor. Implement DLP effectively and protect your sensitive data.

TL;DR

  • Businesses face security challenges such as unauthorized access, data breaches, and compliance with regulations like GDPR and HIPAA.
  • Protecting sensitive data requires DLP implementation for data control and regulation compliance.
  • Implementing DLP effectively involves developing a data handling policy, conducting thorough data discovery and classification, monitoring data movement, and more.
  • Choosing the right DLP solution includes researching potential vendors, planning, consolidating responses, shortlisting top vendors, and finalizing the selection.
  • Strac transforms your DLP strategy with AI-driven data discovery, SaaS integration, real-time endpoint monitoring, and consistent policy enforcement.

Data Loss Prevention (DLP) is crucial for organizations aiming to protect their data from unauthorized access, leaks, and breaches. In 2023 alone, reports indicate 3,205 publicly reported data breaches, a 78% increase from 2022. With stakes this high, relying on outdated practices is no longer viable, making robust DLP implementation essential.

This detailed guide explores the importance of DLP and provides an overview of its implementation and evaluation processes. We’ll also outline the key steps for selecting the right solution and provide effective strategies for implementing DLP. Let’s begin.

The Importance of DLP

Data Loss Prevention (DLP) refers to a set of strategies and tools that protect sensitive data from loss, misuse, or unauthorized access. A DLP system monitors, detects, and responds to potential threats to data security, helping organizations maintain control over sensitive data. Here are the key benefits of DLP:

  • Enhanced Data Security: Effective data loss prevention procedures provide robust protection against data breaches, safeguarding sensitive information from cyberattacks and accidental leaks.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Implementing DLP helps organizations comply with industry regulations such as GDPR, HIPAA, and PCI DSS.
  • Data Visibility and Control: DLP offers comprehensive visibility into data movement and usage, allowing organizations to track and control how data is accessed and shared.
  • Improved Risk Management: With DLP, organizations can proactively identify and mitigate data security risks, reducing the likelihood of data loss incidents.

Why Use DLP Tools?

Data Loss Prevention (DLP) tools are essential for organizations aiming to protect their sensitive information from unauthorized access, leaks, and breaches. Here’s why using DLP tools is crucial:

  • Limit Internal Errors: A majority of data breaches originate from internal employees. Human errors, such as sharing confidential files on public platforms, can cause severe damage to an organization. DLP tools mitigate these risks by preventing unauthorized data sharing.
  • Enhance Control Over Network Activity: DLP software filters data streams within the network to protect data in motion. By defining a data leak prevention strategy, companies can ensure robust protection of their sensitive information.
  • Comply with Data Protection Regulations: Organizations must comply with regulations like GDPR, protecting their customers' and partners' data. DLP tools help maintain compliance by securing sensitive data and preventing unauthorized access.
  • Protect Sensitive Information: DLP tools continuously monitor and secure data to prevent unauthorized access and sharing. This ensures that confidential information remains protected within the network and when in transit.

6 Essential Steps to Choosing a DLP Solution

Selecting the right Data Loss Prevention (DLP) solution is critical for protecting your organization’s sensitive data. A structured approach can help simplify the evaluation process and ensure you choose the best solution for your needs. Here are six data loss prevention requirements to guide you through the process:

1. Research Potential Vendors

Begin by identifying a broad range of potential vendors. Hundreds of vendors offer data protection solutions, so narrowing down your choices using specific criteria is important. Look for vendors that support all your operating environments and consult resources for guidance. Peer reviews and industry reports can also provide valuable insights.

2. Develop A Plan Before Contacting Vendors

Once you have a shortlist of potential vendors, develop a structured plan for contacting them. Outline your critical business needs and use cases. This preparation helps ensure that your interactions with vendors are focused and productive.

3. Gather And Consolidate Responses

Engage with your shortlisted vendors and gather detailed information about their DLP implementations. Involve key stakeholders in your organization to build an agreement on which vendors are the best fit. This collaborative approach helps evaluate how well each vendor can meet your specific needs.

4. Shortlist Top Vendors

Based on the responses and evaluations, narrow down your choices from top DLP solutions. Use criteria such as Request for Proposal (RFP) scores, feature comparisons, and risk assessments to decide. Engage these top vendors for onsite presentations and further assessments to better understand their capabilities.

5. Perform Pilot Tests

Request pilot tests from your top vendors to evaluate their solutions in a real-world environment. Pilot tests show how the solutions perform under your specific conditions and requirements. This step is crucial for identifying potential issues and ensuring the solution integrates smoothly with your existing systems.

6. Select, Negotiate, And Finalize Purchase

After completing the pilot tests, present the results to your selection team. Based on the evaluations, select the vendor that best meets your needs. Begin negotiations to finalize the terms of the purchase. Ensure that you address all aspects, including pricing, support, and future scalability, before making the final commitment.

The Steps to Implement Data Loss Prevention Effectively

Selecting the right DLP solution protects your organization’s sensitive data. Here are six essential steps to guide you through effective data loss prevention procedures:

1. Develop A Comprehensive Data-Handling Policy

Establish a robust data handling policy that aligns with your business requirements and categorizes data based on its sensitivity and the potential impact of its loss. High-risk data, such as sensitive customer information and intellectual property, should have stringent handling procedures. The policy should include guidelines for data encryption, access controls, and compliance with relevant regulations such as GDPR and HIPAA.

2. Conduct Thorough Data Discovery And Classification

Once the data handling policy is in place, the next step is to discover and classify all data assets within your organization. This involves identifying where data resides and categorizing it according to the defined classifications. Modern DLP tools can automate this process, ensuring accurate identification and classification of structured and unstructured data.

3. Identify And Address Data Vulnerabilities

Assess potential vulnerabilities in your data handling processes. This includes evaluating situations and activities that could lead to data breaches, such as sharing sensitive data via unencrypted emails or storing high-risk data in public cloud environments. Understanding these vulnerabilities allows you to focus on critical areas and develop targeted measures to address them.

4. Enforce Data Handling Policies

Implement automated enforcement mechanisms to ensure data handling policies are consistently applied across the organization. This can include automatically encrypting high-risk data, preventing unauthorized access, and monitoring data transfers to ensure policy compliance. These measures help protect data before it can be lost or misused. 

5. Monitor Data Movement Continuously

Continuous monitoring ensures compliance with data loss prevention requirements. It is crucial for detecting and responding to potential threats in real-time. Every instance of data access, transfer, or exchange should be monitored to ensure adherence to data handling policies. This ongoing vigilance helps identify any unusual or unauthorized activities, enabling prompt action to mitigate risks. 

6. Provide Ongoing Education And Training

It is essential to educate employees about the importance of data protection and their role in maintaining data security. Regular training sessions should be conducted to keep employees informed about the latest data handling policies and best practices. Real-time guidance during policy violations can help employees understand the correct actions, reinforcing a culture of data security within the organization. 

Manually performing these tasks can lead to errors and inefficiencies. That's why a platform like Strac is essential to automate processes for accuracy, productivity, and risk reduction.

How Can Strac Meet All Your DLP Implementation Needs?

Strac is an advanced Data Loss Prevention (DLP) platform designed to secure sensitive data across SaaS applications, endpoints, and communication channels. Here’s how it meets all the needs of DLP implementation:

  • Sensitive Data Discovery and Classification with AI and ML: Using advanced AI and machine learning, Strac discovers and classifies sensitive data, including text, images, audio, and video. This reduces false positives and ensures that PII, PHI, and financial details are accurately detected and protected.
  • Sensitive Data Redaction and Tokenization: Strac’s redaction removes sensitive information, while tokenization replaces it with non-sensitive equivalents. Both protect the original data and ensure the safe handling of PHI, PII, and credit card information.
  • SaaS DLP Integration: Strac integrates with SaaS platforms like Slack, Zendesk, Salesforce, and Google Drive to detect and redact sensitive data across all communication channels.
  • Endpoint DLP: The platform provides real-time monitoring, detection, and prevention of unauthorized data transfers from endpoints. This ensures sensitive data protection across all devices and platforms.
  • Improved Visibility on Sensitive Data Sharing: Detailed audit logs and real-time alerts help monitor data activities and respond quickly to potential breaches. It helps maintain strong security and regulatory compliance.
  • Easy Policy-Driven Processes: Strac allows for customizable policy-driven processes for data protection that are tailored to specific organizational needs. This simplifies data protection management and ensures consistent application across all platforms.

Schedule a demo to see how Strac can protect your data with DLP.

Founder, Strac. ex-Amazon Payments Infrastructure (Widget, API, Security) Builder for 11 years.

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